Georgia Birth Injuries Frequently Asked Questions


October 13, 2010

Few injuries are as emotionally devastating for a family as a birth injury or damage to an unborn child during pregnancy. Birth injuries can result in lifelong medical conditions that may permanently impair a child and generate medical costs that can easily reach into the millions. Birth injury cases are also some of the most difficult and expensive cases to litigate.

With so much at stake it is important you have an established, compassionate and knowledgable law firm representing the interests of you and your injured child. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been helping victims of medical malpractice including birth injuries for over 25 years. If your child suffers an injury that you suspect was the result of something a medical professional did or did not do properly during pregnancy or birth, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, for a free initial consultation. We have provided some answers to common questions we hear about birth injuries.

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is a special type of medical malpractice case in which medical errors during pregnancy, delivery, or immediately after an infant's delivery occur. The injuries can occur either because the medical professional makes a mistake or fails to act in a manner consistent with what a similarly situated medical professional should have done.

What are common causes of birth injuries?

Birth injury cases usually involve the failure of a medical professional to appropriately evaluate a medical situation or handle a complication that may occur during pregnancy or birth. These cases may also involve failing to adequately warn an expectant mother of risks associated with taking certain drugs during pregnancy.

Does signing an informed consent form mean that my child cannot pursue a claim for compensation?

Signing an informed consent form does not necessarily preclude a birth injury case. There may be risks that you were not warned of and signing a consent form does not give the medical professional permission to act negligently in performing one's duties.

What types of injuries are the most common in a birth injury case?

Brachial plexus injury, brain injuries, oxygen deprivation injuries, cerebral palsy, fetal distress, and injuries related to a breech delivery are some common types of birth injuries.

Who is responsible for birth injuries?

There are often multiple parties that may contribute to a birth injury including the following:

• Obstetrician

• Nurses

• Anesthesiologist

• Hospital

• Pharmaceutical Company

What is cerebral palsy in the context of a birth injury?

The term cerebral palsy refers to a number of disorders that affect both an infant's movement and brain functioning. It is the result of injury to the baby's brain during pregnancy or birth and can be caused by a lack of oxygen flow to the brain.

How common is cerebral palsy?

The disorder affects in excess of 5,000 babies annually.

What standard of care are medical professionals held to in a birth injury case?

A medical professional is held to the same standard of care of a medical professional with similar training and experience. A physician who is a specialist, such as an obstetrician, is held to the standard of a comparable specialist meaning that the profession itself sets the standard for negligence by its own custom and practice.

How common are birth injuries?

According to estimates, there are approximately five birth injuries per thousand births in the U.S. annually.

Do I need an attorney to file a birth injury case?

Birth injury cases are one of the most expensive and complex types of cases to pursue. The medical professional's malpractice insurance provider will have a team of lawyers and expert witnesses at their disposal. These cases require expert witnesses to address issues such as the appropriate standard of care and the medical professional's deviation from that standard. Expert witnesses often also have to address the issue of causation because the malpractice insurance provider's attorneys may argue that the injuries were not a result of an error or omission by the medical professional.

What do I do if the medical professional's insurance company tries to contact me or offers a settlement?

Do not speak to anyone from the insurance company until you have consulted with an experienced birth injury lawyer. The insurance company has two goals: (1) deny your claim or (2) pay you far less than the claim is worth. The insurance company will use anything you tell them against you. They are absolutely your adversary so you should get legal advice immediately if they try to contact you.

I did not realize that my child had a birth injury until my child was older and did not develop and learn as quickly as other children. Is it too late to seek compensation?

This is a very common situation. The statute of limitations is often "tolled" (delayed) in such situations because such injuries often do not manifest themselves until the child is older, and the time limitations for filing the child's claim doesn't start to run until the injured person turns 18 years old. However the rules governing legal time deadlines can be very tricky and the best thing you can do is to seek prompt legal advice from an experienced birth injury attorney. It is always best to seek legal advice from an experienced Georgia birth injury attorney as quickly as possible if you suspect a birth injury.

It is always tragic when a baby is injured during pregnancy or the birth process. The situation is only more difficult because these types of injuries are usually debilitating and have an impact on a child's entire life. If you suspect your child suffered a birth injury, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our Georgia and Atlanta birth injury attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are only a phone call away, and we will even come to you.


Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.